This post was originally written in 2008. In this post, I reflect on the position experienced by those who begin questioning the traditional patterns of the church in our day. Have you ever been accused of having an aversion to modern church?
One might become ostracized when discussing ecclesiology with individuals whose only exposure to it is that of the position justified by tradition, then proven from scripture. The perspective of 'church' being implemented as it is found in practice throughout the New Testament is often frowned upon and dismissed as being impossible to embrace due to cultural restraints we now face daily. As emergent as many may find this to sound, I think it's at least owed a second look in our study.
Some of us can discuss this openly, humbly, and in Christian love. But most of us, will dismiss the other party as a confessing heretic only to never find ourselves in fellowship with one another again. Whether or not fellowship ever existed between parties to begin with bears little relevance when the topic matter creates enough friction to cause harm or hatred toward a brother.
Most often, proponents of this perspective are misunderstood. Rightly so, as the norm is created by those who are zealous and promote a complete retreat to the other end of the spectrum where there is no return to the middle in sight. Either way, we need to remember that the disillusioned generation that has spawned and multiplied under the wing of emergent theology, there is still a part of that group that still resides under the wing of biblical theology.
One that does well to seek discipleship under the teachings of our Lord, also does well to understand that it isn't a retreat that's needed. It's a recovery. So when you encounter someone who may share in this thinking, you could remember to hear out the evidence first. Or just do what's always done, accuse, dismiss, and then accuse them of having an aversion toward preaching, institutions, or true church. Or in other words, dismiss their legitimate aversion toward cultural christianity and assign them false convert status because they don't meet the status quo.